Between long days at work, the kids, our art business and just general day to day stuff, my nights have gotten shorter and shorter. When my head finally hits the pillow long after the late showing of Oprah and Entertainment Tonight have ended, my mind still won’t click “off”.
It gets so frustrating. Last week I reached the point where I thought I needed rehab for Tylenol PM! Patrick tried to wean myself off those glorious little blue and white caplets so i could try and fall asleep on my own. A few nights of foot rubs later, he was popping open the bottle for me!
It’s not that I’m not tired, I’m actually exhausted. But before I let myself doze off I do a recap of the day, and then try to plan out the next day. I worry about all the tiny details pertaining to the family and work and our business. After that, random quirky questions pop in my mind like:
“I wonder who will get chosen for season three of The Surreal Life. Chyna? Howard K. Stern? Mr. T? Frankie, from Frankie Goes to Hollywood?…”
“That Erik Estrada sure is a nice guy, I wonder if the Mexican soaps he starred in during the 90s will ever come out on DVD…”
“DVDs! I haven’t ordered anything new from Netflix lately, I better do it before my membership is up!”
“Did I check DeAngelo’s Language Arts progress report lately?”
“I think I’ll travel to Ireland some day. I wonder how much it costs? It can’t be more than we paid to go to London. How much was that anyways? Hmmm…Maybe I’ll rent an Irish movie from Netflix. Maybe … right now! Yah, I’ll get up and turn on the computer and order it – because I know I’ll forget tomorrow!”
“STOP!” I yell inside my head! “Snap out of it, girl!”
I shake my noggin, flip the pillow so the cold side is up, fluff it, rest my pretty head and try to count sheep. And it starts all over again. Where’s that so-called perfect “sleep number” when you need it?
So. This weekend I’m taking control of this situation. The past couple nights before I laid down I shut off all the lights in the room. I covered the numbers on the clock, the phone and even the little lights on the computer. Pitch black.
I sat up in bed, closed my eyes and said my prayers and said thank you for all the fun and wonderful things that happened to me and my family that day. I then pretty much just asked for tomorrow to be equally brilliant, por favor. That’s all I can do. I told myself that stressing and worrying about what hasn’t happened yet is such a waste of time. And I reminded myself how lack of sleep causes pre-mature wrinkles too! I finished up my little mediation and plopped flat on the bed.
It worked! I fell asleep right away and woke up so refreshed the next morning. I think it worked because I was allowing myself to have closure. It’s very hard to have a super bionic day and then just turn yourself off in an instant, even after a hot shower. You have to mentally wind down. Of course that kind of superhero slumber is easier on the weekends, the real test is when the work week comes along. But I’ve also noticed since I’ve been walking on the treadmill each day, that makes me more tired at night. I hope I can keep this up, that way I’ll be a better, more coherent person!
What do you do to fall asleep?
More importantly: Who do you think would be good to have on the third season of The Surreal Life?
P.S. Those foot rubs from Patrick *really* do the trick! However, I like to wait until he offers, which usually comes after a few overly dramatic theatrics from me. We’re talking a couple nights a week, any more and he’d run screaming!
* All content/photos copyright, © Kathy Cano-Murillo, 2008.